Do I really need to obedience train my dog?

YES! You, your friends, family, and neighbors will all be happier. Your dog will be happier too because it has a job. Obedience training is how you teach your dog the rules of your house and what behavior is expected of him or her. Obedience training is also fun and bonding for the dog because you are spending time with your dog. Dogs are pack animals, they think like dogs not like humans. Dog training is an investment in a happy life with your dog for the next 12 to 17 years. When you break down the costs of dog training over a lifetime it is really inexpesive to have a pleasant dog. The fastest way to have a great dog is to hire a dog trainer before you select a puppy-let the trainer help you select your family dog.

Can my dog be perimeter trained?

After a strong foundation in obedience, perimeter training (where the dog stays in a certain area) can work for many dogs. However, some breeds are less inclined to stay near home. Those dogs might never be reliably perimeter trained. There is no substitution for humansupervision. If you can not supervise then use a fence for your dogs safety.

What about invisible fences?

Invisible fences are a great option for some dogs. It is critical to understand that the fence will keep most (but not all) dogs in. However, an invisible fence will not keep other dogs out of your yard. Your dog could be attacked by a loose pack of dogs in its own yard and have nowhere to run to for safety. Additionally, there are some dogs that do not respond well to the collar. They charge over the buried line. Some dogs will endure a quick pain for the pleasure of freedom and squirrel chasing (see the movie UP for more on squirrel chansing). There are also cases where the collar painful hot spots (sores) on the dog. This means the owner is leaving the collar on too long. Take it off nightly so the skin can "rest".  Remember that Austin's humidity is high enough that the skin can stay damp which  feeds hot spots.   I do like to  use invisible fences in special circumstances, for instance, when a dog is small enough to get through the existing fence a homeowner’s association permits an owner to put on their property.

Is it safe to take my dog to a dog park?

Austin Texas has numerous dog parks and strives to be a dog friendlyl city. Going to the park with your dog can be great, however, keep in mind the park’s rules about pets. If animals are all leashed, you can have a wonderful time. However, you might not want to take your dog to a park where animals are allowed (or known) to run loose. When other animals are allowed to run loose, you are forced to rely on the competence of training that total strangers may or may not have with their dog. All too often you hear stories of aggressive, unleashed animals, in the park. You might have to control your dog and protect yourself with no help from the other animal’s owner.